(CIDRAP News) US health officials focused largely on expanding supplies of vaccines and antiviral drugs today as they rolled out a lengthy plan for responding to a feared influenza pandemic that could kill an estimated 1.9 million Americans under worst-case assumptions.
Editor's Note: This is an expanded version of a story published earlier today ().
(CIDRAP News) – President George W. Bush today proposed $7.1 billion in spending to prepare for an influenza pandemic, including $5 billion for vaccines and drugs, as his administration released an outline of its preparedness strategy.
(CIDRAP News) Two major organizations of infectious disease experts today warned the public against hoarding oseltamivir (Tamiflu), saying the threat of an influenza pandemic is not high enough to warrant it.
(CIDRAP News) The World Health Organization (WHO) warned today that if H5N1 avian influenza spread to Africa and caused human cases, it "could push fragile health systems to the brink of collapse."
Also, China today ruled out H5N1 avian flu in the death of a girl who lived in a village recently hit by a poultry outbreak, while Romania reported finding the virus for the first time in an area other than the Danube delta.
(CIDRAP News) The drug maker Roche announced yesterday it was suspending shipments of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) to US pharmacies to prevent hoarding that could lead to a shortage of the drug during the winter influenza season.
The company said it was concerned that hoarding by people worried about a flu pandemic could lead to a shortage of the drug for those who will need it for treatment of ordinary seasonal flu.
(CIDRAP News) Three people from the French island of Reunion who were exposed to birds during a recent visit to Thailand are suspected of having H5N1 avian influenza, and authorities are rushing samples to Paris for testing, according to a BBC News report.